Notebook

First Lieutenant Hans Jenisch reported about the loss of U-32 in October 1940: “When our U-Boat sank I head a few shouts of ‘Heil Hitler,’ and some cheering in the distance, but some cried pitifully for help. Horrible! But there are always one or two who do that.” A private told in the same vein of the sinking of the blockade-runner MS Alstertor: “During the fight we had some prisoners down under one of the hatches, and a guard was posted outside the door with pistol drawn and commanded not to open the door until the order was given. The officer who was to give the order was killed. The ship keeled over, but the guard remained standing there at his post, and neither he nor any of the prisoners got out. That’s what’s called doing one’s duty!”

Sönke Neitzel & Harald Welzer, “Soldaten”.

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